How to Convince Your Boss to Pay You for Your Volunteer Work

Guest post by Heather Davidson.

Many employees are looking for new ways to create social impact in their jobs. Modern employees are also concerned about finding a healthy work-life balance. 

However, some employers are still slow on adopting paid volunteer time off (VTO). If you’re looking to negotiate for paid VTO during work hours, be prepared to face a few objections. Sales negotiation training expert Calum Coburn urges employees to “overcome your boss’ objections to paid VTO by learning from the sales pros.” Here are some ways to sell your boss on the idea that investing in paid VTO can benefit them and their company:

Promotes Taking Part

Your boss may already be receptive to giving employees time off to volunteer. If so, remind your boss that being paid for the time would incentivize more people to join in. 

Improves Image

Bosses tend to be concerned about maintaining or improving their company’s image. When negotiating paid VTO, sell your boss on the brand image benefits of volunteer work. When a company visibly helps the local area, the company projects a positive image. 

Instills Company Values

Suggest holding a training session on volunteer placements. This event can encourage staff to play their part. Your boss and coworkers can negotiate where volunteer efforts should be placed to align with company values. 

Attracts and Retains Employees

Today’s workforce views volunteer programs as providing more meaning to their jobs. According to a PwC survey, 59% of millennial workers prefer companies with strong corporate citizenship programs and training.

Companies that engage in volunteer work come across as having:

  • Transparent leadership
  • Honest management
  • Socially responsible products

Creates Social Impact

As a corporate citizen, the company is an extension of the community. The company can promote staff volunteer work to address and prevent social problems locally. When the company’s staff engage in volunteer work, the local area can benefit. 

Bolsters Employee Relations

Volunteer work can increase rapport between employees, as well as with management. It also offers employees a break from regular work schedules. The break can strengthen bonds among colleagues.

Negotiate volunteer work as a team-building exercise with your boss. Suggest that funds used for team-building days could also be used towards VTO pay. 

Develops Employee Skill Sets

Volunteer work is a great way for managers to mentor new employees. New workers can develop their skills and train in unfamiliar ones. This allows bosses to see which areas their workers succeed in. 

Provides Taxation Benefits

Executives can find it difficult to justify charitable costs in terms of bottom-line benefits. Taxation can weigh heavy on the company’s profits. However, staff volunteer efforts may lighten the tax burden. Companies making charitable efforts enjoy some tax deductions. 

Presents Chances for Viral Marketing 

Social media coverage is an important part of most corporate marketing. When negotiating paid VTO, emphasize how employees are more likely to share content on the company’s volunteer efforts than on the latest product launch.  

Does your team need a chance to give back to their communitiy? Would volunteering increase your social impact? If so, go ahead and talk to your boss about volunteering. With these tips, show your boss why employee volunteering would benefit the company as well as the community!


Author Bio: With a degree in linguistics, content creator and editor Heather Davidson, is passionate about using language to create connections, foster learning, and move entrepreneurs towards their business goals. Heather writes with gusto, both in her personal and professional life.

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